caselaws

Supreme Court of India
The State Of West Bengal vs Indrajit Kundu on 18 October, 2019Author: R. Subhash Reddy

Bench: Hon’Ble Ms. Malhotra, R. Subhash Reddy

Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
1

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 2181 OF 2009

State of West Bengal …Appellant

Versus

Indrajit Kundu & Ors. …Respondents

J U D G M E N T

R.Subhash Reddy,J.

1. This appeal is preferred by the State of West

Bengal through Principal Secretary, Home Department,

aggrieved by the judgment and order dated 30.07.2019

passed by the High Court at Calcutta in C.R.R.No.3473

of 2008.

2. By the impugned order, the respondents-accused

were discharged of the charge framed against them under
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
NEELAM GULATI
Date: 2019.10.18
15:26:04 IST
Reason:
Section 306 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code.

The victim, daughter of the de facto complainant was a
Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
2
painter and artist. To improve her proficiency in

English, first respondent was appointed as her English

teacher. Respondent Nos. 2 and 3 are his parents.

There developed intimacy between the victim and first

respondent – Indrajit in course of coaching. It is the

allegation of the complainant that as the deceased

victim and first respondent had decided to marry, to

finalise the proposal of marriage the victim had gone

to the house of first respondent on 05.03.2004. It is

alleged that when the victim went to the house of

first respondent, respondent Nos. 2 and 3 who are the

parents of the first respondent came out to raise

shouts and addressed the victim as a call-girl. The

words uttered by respondent Nos. 2 and 3, as per the de

facto complainant are “you are a call-girl, why my son

would marry you, we would give our son in marriage

elsewhere”. It is alleged in the complaint that at

that time, first respondent did not protest against

the version of his parents and his daughter returned

home and became mentally perturbed. On 06.03.2004 at

about 1.00 p.m. the victim had committed suicide.

3. On the complaint of the de facto complainant, a

case was registered in Jorabagan Police Station against
Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
3
respondents under Section 306 IPC and thereafter

charge-sheet was filed.

4. There were two suicide notes. In one suicide note,

the deceased has stated that parents of first

respondent abused her in silly words by calling her a

call-girl. In another note, which was addressed to

the first respondent, has stated that the father of

first respondent stigmatized her as a call-girl and

first respondent has not responded to such utterances.

Further it is stated that first respondent is a

coward. After conducting investigation, charge-sheet

was filed under Section 306/34 IPC against all the

three accused. Case was committed to the 7th Fast Track

Court, Sessions Court, Calcutta, numbered as Sessions

Case No.11 of 2006.

5. Accused-respondents earlier filed application for

discharge, the same was rejected by the Trial Court by

order dated 19.04.2007. Thereafter, respondents have

filed an application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. before

the High Court in C.R.R.No.1817 of 2007 which was

disposed of with the direction to respondents-accused

to raise all the points before the learned Trial Court.

At the stage of framing of charges respondents have

raised objections claiming that no case is made out
Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
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against them to frame charge for the alleged offence

under Section 306/34 IPC. The learned Additional

District and Sessions Judge by order dated 04.09.2008

overruled the objections of the respondents observing

that as there is a probability of accused being

convicted, charge can be framed. It is observed in the

order that there is a reasonable likelihood for accused

persons to be convicted under Section 306 IPC. Against

the said order, respondents have approached the High

Court again under Section 401/482 Cr.P.C. in

C.R.R.No.3473 of 2008.

6. By the impugned order, the High Court by recording

a finding that terming the deceased as a call-girl,

there was no utterance which can be interpreted to be

an act of instigating, goading or solicitation or

insinuation, the deceased to commit suicide. By

referring to the case law decided by this Court wherein

similar utterances like, “to go and die” does not

constitute an offence for abetment, allowed the

application filed by the respondents. It is observed

in the order that the act or conduct of the accused,

however insulting and abusive, will not by themselves

suffice to constitute abetment of commission of

suicide, unless those are reasonably capable of
Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
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suggesting that the accused intended by such acts, the

consequence of suicide. By discussing the case law on

the subject, the High Court allowed the application by

setting aside the order of the Trial Court and

discharged the respondents-accused from the charge.

7. We have heard Sri Suhaan Mukerji, learned counsel

appearing for the State of West Bengal and Sri Pijush

Roy, learned counsel appearing for respondents.

8. In this appeal mainly it is contended by the

learned counsel for the appellant-State that the de

facto complainant has appointed first respondent as an

English teacher to improve the English of the deceased

victim. The victim used to visit the house of accused

No.1 and developed intimacy and relationship. It is

submitted that on 05.03.2004, when the victim visited

the accused for finalizing the date of marriage,

respondent Nos. 2 and 3 who are parents of accused No.1

have shouted and called the victim a call-girl. The

victim was disturbed and she returned home and her

sister tried to console her by telling her that they

will speak to the accused so that their marriage would

take place. It is submitted that on next day i.e.

06.03.2004, she committed suicide by hanging. It is

submitted that from suicide notes, it is clear that
Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
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respondents who are the accused are responsible for

suicide of the victim girl. It is submitted that by

their conduct and utterances they have abetted the

crime, as such they were rightly charged for the

offence under Section 306/34 IPC. It is submitted that

there is sufficient material to frame charge against

the respondents. In spite of the same, without

considering the material on record, the High Court has

allowed the application filed by the respondents. The

learned counsel for the State in support of his

arguments placed reliance on the judgment in the cases

of Soma Chakravarty vs. State1 and Union of India

vs. Prafulla Kumar Samal2.

9. On the other hand, in response, learned counsel

appearing for the accused-respondents submitted that

during the pendency of this appeal, the second

respondent passed away, as such appeal stands abated so

far as he is concerned. Further, it is stated that as

there is no material to frame charge against the

respondents for offence under Section 306/34 IPC, the

High Court by well-reasoned order has allowed their

application and no grounds to interfere with the same.

1 (2007) 5 SCC 403
2 (1979) 3 SCC 4.
Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
7
10. Having heard learned counsel on both the sides, we

have perused the impugned order passed by the High

Court and other material placed on record.

11. From the material placed on record, it is clear

that respondents are sought to be proceeded for charge

under Section 306/34 mainly relying on the suicide

letters written by the deceased girl and the statements

recorded during the investigation. Even according to

the case of de facto complainant, respondent Nos. 2 and

3 who are parents of first respondent shouted at the

deceased girl calling her a call-girl. This happened

on 05.03.2004 and the deceased girl committed suicide

on 06.03.2004. By considering the material placed on

record, we are also of the view that the present case

does not present any picture of abetment allegedly

committed by respondents. The suicide committed by the

victim cannot be said to be the result of any action on

part of respondents nor can it be said that commission

of suicide by the victim was the only course open to

her due to action of the respondents. There was no

goading or solicitation or insinuation by any of the

respondents to the victim to commit suicide. In the

case of Swamy Prahaladdas vs. State of M.P. and Anr.3

3 1995 Supp (3) SCC 438
Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
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this Court while considering utterances like “to go and

die” during the quarrel between husband and wife,

uttered by husband held that utterances of such words

are not direct cause for committing suicide. In such

circumstances, in the aforesaid judgment this Court

held that Sessions Judge erred in summoning the

appellant to face the trial and quashed the

proceedings.

12. In the judgment in the case of Ramesh Kumar vs.

State of Chhattisgarh4 this Court has considered the

scope of Section 306 and the ingredients which are

essential for abetment as set out in Section 107 IPC.

While interpreting the word “instigation”, it is held

in paragraph 20 as under:

“20. Instigation is to goad, urge forward,
provoke, incite or encourage to do “an
act”. To satisfy the requirement of
instigation though it is not necessary that
actual words must be used to that effect or
what constitutes instigation must
necessarily and specifically be suggestive
of the consequence. Yet a reasonable
certainty to incite the consequence must be
capable of being spelt out. The present
one is not a case where the accused had by
his acts or omission or by a continued
course of conduct created such
circumstances that the deceased was left
with no other option except to commit
suicide in which case an instigation may
have been inferred. A word uttered in the
fit of anger or emotion without intending

4 (2001) 9 SCC 618
Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
9
the consequences to actually follow cannot
be said to be instigation.”

13. Similarly in the judgment in the case of Sanju

Alias Sanjay Singh Sengar vs. State of M.P.5 when any

quarrel which has taken place between husband and wife

in which husband has stated to have told the deceased

”to go and die”, this Court has held that the suicide

committed two days thereafter was not proximate to the

quarrel though the deceased was named in the suicide

note and that the suicide was not the direct result of

quarrel when the appellant used abusive language and

told the deceased to go and die. Judgments referred

above support the case of respondents, except stating

that on 05.03.2004 when the deceased went to the

premises of first respondent, his parents who are

respondent Nos. 2 and 3 addressed her as a call-girl.

At the same time by applying the judgments referred

above we are of the view that such material is not

sufficient to proceed with the trial by framing charge

of offence under Section 306/34 IPC. It is also clear

from the material that there was no goading or

solicitation or insinuation by any of the respondents

to the victim to commit suicide.

5 (2002) 5 SCC 371
Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
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14. Learned counsel appearing for the appellant-State

has placed reliance on the judgment in the case of Soma

Chakravarty (supra), wherein this Court has held that

when there is material to show that accused might have

committed offence it can frame charge and the probative

value of the material on record cannot be gone into at

the stage, before the Trial Court.

15. Reliance is placed on the judgment in the case of

Union of India vs Prafulla Kumar Samal (supra), where

this Court has held that the Judge while considering

the question of framing the charges has the undoubted

power to sift and weigh the evidence for the limited

purpose of finding out whether or not a prima facie

case against the accused has been made out.

16. The judgment relied on by learned counsel for the

State in the case of Chitresh Kumar Chopra vs. State

(NCT) of Delhi6, this Court has held that where the

accused by his acts or by a continued course of conduct

creates such circumstances that the deceased was left

with no other option except to commit suicide, an

“instigation” may be inferred. To draw the inference

of instigation it all depends on facts and

circumstances of the case, whether the acts committed

6 (2009) 16 SCC 605
Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
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by the accused will constitute direct or indirect act

of incitement to the commission of suicide is a matter

which is required to be considered in facts and

circumstances of each case. As such we are of the view

that the judgments relied on by the learned counsel for

the State would not assist in supporting his arguments.

17. For the aforesaid reasons, we do not find any

merit in this appeal so as to interfere with the well

reasoned judgment of the High Court. Accordingly, this

appeal is dismissed.

……………….J.
[Indu Malhotra]

……………..J.
[R. Subhash Reddy]

New Delhi;

October 18, 2019

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